Thursday, March 31, 2011

The long between

It's been awhile....
I am currently struggling through a period of perennial doubt.  Doubt about my ability to finish this course, doubt about my mothering strategies, doubt (well founded) about my housekeeping abilities, doubt about my 'stitch in time saves nine'... all those stitches I DIDN'T do are now costing me the nine!!!

I feel guilty that I don't ring my kids very often.  I know they will ring me if they need me, and that when we do talk to each other the phone calls are often long ones but still I feel bad that weeks go by between chats.  I also don't ring my mother very often, although I do see her usually once a week, but still.....
I feel guilty that my house is worthy of a 'hoarders' episode and yet I have no energy to clean up or real desire to throw anything away.
I feel guilty that most evenings I don't cook anything for dinner....tonight I have had a 'hot cross' bun and I have not even asked what my daughter (15) has eaten but assume she has fixed herself something!!!
I feel guilty that I can't organise the repairs that are needed, all little things but they so have the potential to be come the NINE.
I feel guilty that I am here typing this instead of doing the huge assignment that is due in on Saturday morning...
I feel guilty that I can't work up the 'care' factor that might motivate me to actually do it.
I feel guilty that I am even doing this course and that maybe I might be better served doing one of the jobs that I am good at rather than doing this 'pie in the sky' course and not being out earning money to support us.
 Guilt, guilt, guilt.....

I am hereby going to list my blessings and achievements....

For over 16 yrs I was a stay at home mum doing Family Day care for a variety of kids.  This allowed me lots of time with my older children. I was pregnant and breast feeding for almost 20 years all up :-)
Over the last 13 plus years I have raised 6 children almost without help from their father.  Very little physical help (no weekends at all) and almost no financial...well he paid what the Child Support agency required, but because he was able to organise his assessed income he paid only a small amount for the majority of the time.
He did do some helping round the house in the early days but that came to an end when he felt I was not grateful enough!!!

At times I juggled 2 or 3 jobs, ferried children hither and thither, completed a Diploma and now the first 2 yrs of the Bachelor of Education...10 units to go....
I put 3 children through many years of private school education, the others did mainstream by choice.
All of my kids have had the opportunity to learn an instrument and they are all able to read music and play at least a little.  A couple have reached higher levels, doing 5th and higher grades in music exams and playing for church and for pleasure.

My children are now almost all adults and so far one almost completed a degree in biogenetics but took a sabbatical and joined the circus and now spends months at a time out of the country, being paid to travel and manage groups of performers. She is currently 'producing' things like the Melbourne New Year fireworks and a huge festival up north. My only son did a big computer company course and now works to his own rhythm in IT, he has also travelled the world but did have to pay his own way.  My next two girls both graduated from Uni, one with a Dietetics and Nutrition Degree and the other a Science degree.  They are both working part time to finance further study to help them get jobs in their chosen fields.  Number 5 has just started studying Engineering and number 6 is breezing through Yr 11.

They all have some social conscience with one sponsoring 4 overseas kids and the others always willing to help out when needed.  As a family we have been sponsoring for several years and now have 3 overseas children.  We also lend to Kiva which is a lovely way to see how a little can go a long, long way when you are able to lend, see the money paid back then lend it out again.  For the last few years we have been Foster Carers, doing Respite care on a casual basis, usually just a few days at a time.  My third child also trained as a Foster carer.

I do have a mortgage and it will be a financial struggle over the next little while without any employment income, as after 10 years my position has been made redundant... at least they have run out of money to pay me although the need for my skills is still there.... another decision not made yet... do I go do the job unpaid....
It will become a challenge but I'm sure we will manage, we always do.  A couple of months ago I was able to purchase a 'new' car,(almost 10 yrs old but low kms) and pay cash for it, squirreled away over the last few years....this has left me without a nest egg but was necessary as my old car was drinking money...and oil.... It is however a little scary not having that backstop in the bank.

I have reasonable health... I do have a diagnosis of MS hanging over my head but mostly it stays in the background and is a good excuse for any muddleheadedness or any necessity to sleep the day away (admittedly that doesn't happen very often).  My children too are all healthy and hardly ever visit doctors or need to take time off.

I have travelled.  After being diagnosed I got a loan to finance a trip overseas as I had not travelled before... I took myself to Britain alone and spent a wonderful 3 weeks travelling ending with 48 hrs in Paris.... I dream to do it again one day before I become too decrepit.

I love living alone... well alone with kids.... I do wonder whether that will change in a couple of years when the youngest leaves home, but for the moment I cherish 'alone' times and enjoy not answering to another adult.

Well the flip side of not having another person to answer to is that I have to motivate myself to do these things and sometimes that is the most difficult of methinks I should leave this diatribe here and get back to my homework.

 Badmumma has spoken.

1 comment:

  1. I think you are doing yourself and your kids an injustice by feeling guilty (why are mothers driven by guilt so much?).

    So what if your house is cluttered? It has clearly been a happy home where you have raised mature, responsible adults who have now gone off in to the world to leave their own mark.

    You deserve to have a little bit of something for yourself, whether that be study or travel or quiet time or even all those things. You have worked hard, achieved much to be proud of.

    Bet your kids like that you are not one of those smothering mothers but still know that they can come to you and obviously enjoy talking to you when they do.

    Leave the guilt behind and enjoy your life. You've earned it!